Feb 22, 2016 - Things to Do

A guide to ordering treats off the Spanish-language menu at Cocos Locos

pina loca cocos locos header

pina loca cocos locos header

Cocos Locos is a small-batch ice creamery about 4 miles north of Uptown.

You’ll find it at 4801 N. Tryon Street in a small strip mall.

It’s on the left side of the road if you’re heading north away from the city.

cocos locos charlotte
cocos locos charlotte

This is a traditional heladería, or ice cream parlor, with small-batch homemade flavors you won’t find in other shops.

Try mango with chamoy (a bright red sweet/salty/sour/spicy chili sauce), beso de angel (a mix of coconut, cherry and nuts that translates into ‘kiss of an angel’) or rose petal. Ice cream is $1.40 for 1 scoop, $2.75 for 2 scoops, $4 for 3 scoops, $5 for 4 scoops and $6 for 5 scoops. You get one free topping.

cocos locos charlotte

They’ve also got homemade paletas, or popsicles, available in all kinds of flavors.

Try a tropical fruit flavor like guayaba (guava), plátano (banana) or mango with chili. They’ve also got more decadent flavors like rompope (egg nog), cajeta (caramelized sweetened goat’s milk) and queso (cheesecake, not like the cheese dip you’re expecting). All the menus are in Spanish. If you want to look like a pro, you can see a translated list of common paleta flavors here. Or, of course, just ask for help in the shop.

cocos locos paletas

But I think the most exciting items on the menu are the fresh fruit concoctions.

Bionico is a chopped fruit salad tossed in cream and topped with coconut. Rusa is a sweet and spicy drink made with Mexican grapefruit soda, chamoy, fresh fruit and a tamarind straw.

The mother of all menu items at Cocos Locos is the Piña Loca ($11), or Crazy Pineapple.

It’s a hollowed out pineapple stuffed with fresh fruit and coconut and topped with chili powder, tamarind, lime juice and chamoy hot sauce.

pina loca cocos locos charlotte

Start by picking out your fillings.

Choose from a selection of: pineapple, mango, papaya, watermelon, coconut and cucumber.

cocos locos charlotte

Then specify which garnishes you want.

They’ll top the fruit with chili powder, lime juice and chamoy. You can ask for a chamoy sample on a slice of fruit if you’re not sure about it. Personally, I love the sweet/spicy combo of it with fruit.

cocos locos pina loca

Top it off with a tamarind straw and a mini umbrella.

Every day’s a party when a mini umbrella’s involved.

Tamarind is a leguminous fruit often ground into a paste for use in food. Here, it’s a sweetened and spiced gummy-like treat wrapped around a straw.

tamarind straw


pina loca cocos locos

If treats aren’t your thing, there’s savory food too.

Try the chilindrina, a pork rind traditionally topped with shredded pork, tomato, lettuce, sour cream and avocado slices.

photo via Facebook
photo via Facebook

Still can’t figure it out? Seriously, just ask the clerk to guide you through the menu. Go visit. Now.


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